Prepared Foods, the largest title dedicated to new food and beverage R&D and innovation, proudly announces winners of the 14th annual “Spirit of Innovation Awards” ( 

“Prepared Foods exists to serve all professionals involved in the product development process—including innovation, sales and market insights; corporate executive chefs; R&D scientists; nutritionists; and purchasing professionals,” notes Bob Garrison, Prepared Foods’ Editor-in-Chief. “These awards are unique in that—rather than only recognizing sales—we also consider behind-the-scenes stories of those market insights and cross-functional teamwork.”

Prepared Foods and Ventura Foods, a leading industrial oils supplier, have created a unique format with six distinct new product categories, each with a first-place honoree. Since it was introduced last year, this format has attracted more than 100 new product submissions in both 2016 and 2017 (see judging details below). 

Winning companies’ representatives will be honored with a special awards program and tasting reception during Prepared Foods’ annual New Products Conference, Sept. 10-13, at the Grand Hyatt Denver, Denver, Colo. Visit for additional details.

This year’s winning products include:

Most Disruptive / Interesting New Product (Retail or Foodservice): Editor’s choice of the most “disruptive” and new-to-category product (food or beverage / retail or foodservice). 2017 Honorees: Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chalupa from Taco Bell and Tyson Foods Inc.

Best New Product - Retail Food (tie): Most interesting, unique new retail offering (product line or individual SKU). 2017 Honoree: STOUFFER’S® Seasoning Wraps from Nestlé

Best New Product - Retail Food (tie): Most interesting, unique new retail offering (product line or individual SKU) 2017 Honoree: Birds Eye® Veggie Made™ Pasta from Pinnacle Foods Inc.

Best New Product - Retail Beverage: Most interesting, unique new retail offering (product line or individual SKU). 2017 Honoree: International Delights One Touch Latte from DanoneWave

Best New Product - Foodservice / Front of the House (Addressing Consumer Trends): Most interesting, unique new prepared offering addressing restaurant patrons’ taste trends and other food preferences. 2017 Honoree: Jennie-O Turkey Store All Natural Reduced Sodium Lunchmeats from Jennie-O Turkey Store / Hormel Foods

Best New Product - Foodservice / Back of the House (Addressing Customer-Operator Needs): Most interesting, unique new prepared offering – addressing taste trends – but also helping operators reduce cost, labor, time, etc. 2017 Honoree: Bona Fide Craft Draft Coffee from Bona Fide Brewing Company

Best New Product - Alternative Channel: Best new food / beverage developed specifically for in-store bakery, in-store deli or convenience store channel operators. 2017 Honoree: Johnsonville Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuit, Johnsonville Foods LLC

Judging & Criteria Details:

Prepared Foods/Ventura Foods’ Spirit of Innovation Awards are unique in that they honor product R&D teams’ multi-functional collaboration to identify market opportunities and do work together in product development. 

To be eligible, product(s) must have been introduced between January 2016 and March/April 2017. Each product was evaluated on an initial 10-point grading scale according to its originality, demonstrated teamwork, demonstrated sales success and other contributing factors (including innovative packaging, where appropriate).

Prepared Foods staff prepared and evaluated finalists’ submissions and sought additional input from editors at other BNP Media titles including: Beverage Industry, Dairy Foods, The National Provisioner, Snack & Wholesale Bakery, Candy Industry, Refrigerated & Frozen Foods and Industria Alimenticia. 

Related titles include Brand Packaging, Flexible Packaging and Packaging Strategies.

Co-Sponsor Ventura Foods

Ventura Foods, Brea, Calif., is a leading national manufacturer of branded and custom shortenings, oils, dressings, sauces, margarines, culinary bases and pan coatings.  Using its products as ingredients, Ventura partners with other manufacturers to bring great tasting and innovative food and bakery items to the market in the retail and foodservice channels. 

Ventura Foods is proud to be an agile partner that helps customers delight their customers by delivering the highest-quality products and services. Visit for more details.

About Prepared Foods

Prepared Foods ( is the food and beverage industry’s largest business-to-business (B2B) title serving more than 40,000 industry executives in titles of R&D, Marketing, Innovation, Culinary, Nutrition and Purchasing.